Build Your Dream on the Best Section

Key to every concept design and floor plan we create is based on what section the house is to be built on. As rudimentary as it seems, analyzing the shape, outlook, contour and prevailing wind direction of the section is so often overlooked in the building planning process.

This past week, we have been guiding a client through the process of selecting the best land on which to build their new home. And it has got us think about the key points for anyone to consider when searching for their new section.


This is normally the first thing a client will decide on when beginning their section search. We suggest creating a list of 3–5 key suburbs or areas where they would like to begin to look. Keep in mind that this list is easy to change if you fail to find suitable land with the qualities and price that you are after, but it will give you a clear directive on where to look first.

Consider what locations fit within your lifestyle: proximity to work, school zoning for your children, how far you are prepared to commute and how/where you tend to spend your leisure time.


Although not always a simple task, finding a section with some form of outlook will always add value to your home. Depending on your budget and preferences, looking for an outlook of hills, ocean, lakes or trees will add character to your property that can rarely be taken away.

The other component of the outlook that we must consider is the direction the section is designed to predominantly face i.e. the direction and angle of sunlight through the day. The overwhelming advantage of building a custom home is that it lends you the opportunity to tailor the orientation of every room, window and door to suit where the sunlight will enter your house and at what time you will have naturally warmed and lit rooms. By selecting a section that caters for the sunlight, you will be able to maximise the natural warmth of your home and minimize your electricity bills.


The reality of building in the South island of New Zealand is that the land is frequently sloped, especially when building outside of engineered subdivisions. The contour of your section will have an influence on the cost to build your new home, as extra allowances must be made for excavating, foundations and materials.

While on the subject of how your section choice can affect your cost to build, it is important to mention how crucial it is to select your section with the knowledge of whether it falls into the category TC1, TC2 or TC3. Each grading speaks to the geotechnical strength of the section and the suitability of using standard foundations to build on the land. TC1 is the highest grade and usually allows standard foundation methods to be used. If you are unsure on the suitability of your land to build on, you are welcome to contact our team for advice.

Prevailing Winds

While searching for your new section, it is valuable to at least briefly research what the prevailing (most common) wind directions are in that area. A section that is exposed to the prevailing wind wind will limit the usability of the outdoor areas, determine the cost of installing wind breaking screens or planting, and affect the layout of the house through minimising the wind noise in certain areas of the home.

If you want to learn more about how we can assist you to design and build a new custom home for you and your family, visit our website.

Custom new homes, designed specifically for you. Building throughout Canterbury and the South Island of New Zealand.